Pointlessness as an antidote

What is the point?! he griped angrily.

And as with all accusations, I react reflexively to such a statement. I spring into Defensive Mode. An accusation. “What’s your point” is a passive accusation.

Its gist?

If someone responds “what’s your point” in response to a thought you’ve laid out, the implied accusation is “what you just said isn’t important” or “I don’t understand what you’re trying to say, hence, why did you bother saying it?”

The point.
The almighty point.
The idealogical destination.

The point is the Western mind’s left-brained requirement that all intellectual expression must possess a map, a linear one-way path, a sequential chain of events with a timeline represented as beginning>middle>end.

If a, then b, and if c, then either d or e depending on the weather conditions or any other multitude of extraneous factors. Such a thought process does not take kindly to the disruptive, and many times decidedly non-linear, extraneous factors. And as such, attempts to account for extraneous possibilities by designating these various possibilities with labels, thus controlling and intellectualizing them. The unknown or unknowable thumbs its nose at us and we seek to draw it into the stodginess of our rigid equations and control.

Control the uncontrollable. And thus, manipulate the Point.

Our Western mindset, solidly linear. Our intellectual framework, firmly ensconced in a large, mass-produced cookie cutter Box. This is how our cognitive journey unfolds. Within walls, guided by straight lines, and if we are feeling a little edgy, we might even throw in some turns (but only the 90 degree kind).

What’s the point?
Maybe there is no point.

In fact, especially on this blog, there usually isn’t.
I have a tendency to be absolutely pointless in much that I do or say.
I don’t believe a Point is nearly as important as some would have us believe.

It’s the path that I value. The process in itself. Not the goal, not the conclusion, not the resolution.

I find satisfaction in the self-discovery, the revelations that my mental gymnastics can uncover.

Treasure the journey.

The Means frequently have very little in common with the Ends. In fact, the less similarity or logical extension the Ends share with the Means, the more interesting and intriguing they are to study.

Open Pandora’s box and run!
Who cares to stick around while everyone rushes to put the lid back on. Knowledge and discovery are the timeless gift.

For me.
My point.

My personal urban unrest. On Mexican veneers and sensory overload.

I see Teeth.
I see Goddamned Teeth.

Sometimes when I drive to work, I forsake the freeway and take Cesar Chavez Boulevard (which becomes Sunset after downtown) into Hollywood.

Hollywood.
The urban fairy tale.

And those teeth.
They rattle and frazzle and even bedazzle.
Is “bedazzle” necessarily a term of endearment, of positivity?
Not sure. But the Teeth, they do bedazzle.

Fucking Teeth.

See, on Sunset Boulevard, just after you drive into Echo Park, there is billboard on the South side of the street facing Eastbound. Facing me. Waiting for me, mocking me, as I drove Westbound towards the mighty Hollywood capital of glamor and glitz.

Glamor.

I live in the big city, the city of big egos and big pocketbooks and big self-importance.

I live in the city of billboards.

When I take the streets to work, this greets me.

How do I describe this?
How do I convey the impression it leaves on my soul?

What the hell. Does it matter?

I’ve seen that billboard so often, I no longer pay attention. Or at least I don’t think I do.

Isn’t it a truth that our mind works on several levels?
There is the most superficial, conscious and shallowly cognitive level. Where the immediate sensual perceptions reside.

You see. You touch. You hear. You smell.
And if you’re lucky, you taste.

The immediate, the bare input, the naked data of your world. Not implying it goes any further.

If you smell hot tar as you drive by a section of the road being repaved, you don’t think about the tar in depth, but you recognize the smell.

You recognize that hot, black smell. That’s what it is. You drive by, the interpretation of tar smell fades.

The Teeth. That billboard.
I see it so often it has become the tar smell of my soul.
I see it. I drive by it. I no longer react to it on a conscious level.

But yesterday morning.
I paid attention.

Thought of it, dissected it.
So much so that I had to pull over and take a photograph of it (freak!).

I was struck.
It bothers me.
It bothers the fuck out of me, actually.

That is not feigned blogospheric emotion, that is not cyber attention whoring. That is genuine. I came to this conclusion.

The billboard bothers me.

It doesn’t bother me because of its exaggerated and absurd subject. On the surface, it’s bothersome but not troubling.

No, this shit troubles me.

The billboard has left an indentation on my psyche.
City living has left an indentation on my psyche.

There is so much intrusion that goes on when you live in a big fucking city like Los Angeles.
Your soul is an open door.
You shut the door, but it’s always opened again, gleefully. There is always some bullshit, some garbage, waiting for you that will unlock it. Again.

And this billboard. Emblematic.
Yes.
I don’t just see it.

I see IT.

Fucking Teeth.
I enlarged them for your viewing pleasure.

A billboard showcasing the local talents of a Mexican radio disc jockey who yells out over Spanish radio.

All morning radio DJ’s annoy me. Let’s get that straight.
They are loud, they don’t shut up, they don’t chill.
They piss me off.
Throw in the added ingredient of a foreign language and the shit is amped up at least 15-fold.

Funny thing, this is not a an anti-Pilolin riff.

I don’t give a shit about the dude, I don’t care what he sounds like. I don’t even have a radio in my car.
Piolin might be a great guy.

You see, in L.A., that isn’t the point.

In the urban jungle you may amaze me with your personal wondrousness and your grand possessions.
But what kind of person are you?

You are a billboard.
You are famous.

You have an amazing smile.

Bedazzled, rattled.
Too much stimulus. I can’t live in a city of 3,000,000+ and a region of 10,000,000+.
Dude, you’re killing me.

I’m talking about 10,000,000 modern, high-tech inhabitants, each living a lifestyle which would probably be lusted for by many of the 20,000,000 who cluster Mexico City. There must be a mathematical formula which accrues for a personal value of each person based on his global footprint. The mark that ten million citizens of Los Angeles/Orange County/Inland Empire leave must easily overshadow that left by twenty million Mexico D.F. residents.

I can’t even imagine what the Eastern Seaboard is like. Now that is a serious population problem.

So there he is, Piolin.
Spanish radio DJ.
I’m convinced the wires, the cables, the poles, the disjunctions pervasive to city living, leave a footprint on our psyche.
C’mon.
You see this crap, day in, day out, of course it has an effect.
Though I can discount the sublimiinal influences, the nature of the attack is unseen!.
Modern city living is remorseless.

Those who know me can attest to the fact that I’m a whiner.
I whine.
About living in L.A.
I hate it.
I hate the city, I hate the crowds, I hate the vibe.
When I was 24, I almost moved to Portland, Oregon (hi Paul!).
I didn’t.

The city does not take well to me.
The urban landscape eschews me.

When I fall into this whiny rut, I hear the same pat answer each time: it won’t be much different in the country. People are the same everywhere.

Sure. Even their Teeth?
I’m not looking to escape. I need to get away from this.


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** edit addition 3/5/10:
In the spirit of fomenting good blogkarma.
How many of you ladies would do this (or have done it): vajazzled
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Sofia’s Predicament

Got me thinking this morning.
As I’ve said, I don’t have time to create this shit in the morning.

But this morning I read a post over on Sofia.

That got me thinking, flying off on a cerebral tangent while I did my front squats and rows, while I grunted and heaved and exhaled.

I won’t descend into Sofia’s post too deeply. That is not the motive behind this post. I can be pretty damned motiveless, so sometimes I must keep myself grounded in order to stay on topic. In her post, Sofia presents a dichotomy that exists for a great many blogizens wherein their online persona conflicts or departs from their real life persona. In Sofia’s words, appraising her own dichotomy,

At times, I’ve been really um, insensitive on this blog, which is really contrary to how I navigate real life (with painful degrees of sensitivity).

Sofia, of “I don’t care about Haiti” infamy elucidating the fact that she is quite the lamb in real life; the saintly girl at odds with the coldly inquisitive online Sofia.

This, we can relate to, if we’re human.

My online persona can be thoughtless, impulsive and obnoxious, in varying degrees of offensiveness. That is more or less my persona in real life as well. My personality behind the keyboard is nearly the same freakshow you get when we meet face to face.

Which of course brought me back to my Hive Manifesto.
Ha!
Yes, I have a name for it now.
Of course I’m bringing it back up.

The Hive Manifesto.

Sofia’s post, redolent of self-justification in the face of grand blogospheric misperceptions, seems a cross we all must bear in our time as our historically evolved mentality tries desperately to sort out and understand the new cyber-paradigm of human co-existence.

The Hive.

I create or resuscitate an idea, a concept, and if I’m especially fond of it, I will dwell on the fucking thing for a week or 2 or 5 months.

The Hive is one such example.
One of my crackpot ideas, and I have many.

And the cool thing about this blog shtick is that you can lob your lunatic ideas out there for the rest of the blogosphere to swat around. It’s a trial run to take the temperature of your theory’s validity. It can be painful but it must be done! Unless you’re into masturbatory self-delusion. Which I’m not.

The Hive, the Hive. Sofia. Yes. Full circle, while I was doing my military presses this morning.

Sofia’s predicament.
That’s actually a beautiful name with which to baptize the concept describing the disjunction between traditional “real life” and this crazy, Lovecraftian altered state known as cyber space.

We can joyfully refer to “Sofia’s Predicament” as a macro-cultural concept which attempts to explain the limitations cyberexistence places on our ability to ever know anyone we meet online and vice versa; our own innate inability to ever fully reveal ourselves to the rest of the world through a medium such as cyberspace. This inability, Sofia’s Predicament, the barrier to real-life familiarity within the confines of cyberspace.

We can never know anyone until we meet them. Physically.

In person, for an extended period of time. Until we can lay eyes and hands on them, until our nose and ears can attune to their bodily and vocal emissions. We can never know anyone until then.

Our senses, dismantled and neutered in this age of remote acquaintances mimicked over electronic signals, have long to adjust. Our tools are the tools of our hunter-gatherer forefathers; ancestors who controlled and outwitted the world by virtue of his 5 senses. We have developed an evolutionary reliance on these senses but technology, rather than asking for more, is typically asking for more from less. We have not learned to decipher a person’s intricate nature based on a photo or a video of their face or their rambling words (guilty as charged). Internet relationships can only rely on sight and sound. Everything else must be created and imagined in our incomplete minds.

Here in the 21st Century, we substitute interpersonal knowledge and familiarity with technological novelty as we attempt to recreate real life sensations between online strangers. We attempt to refine and expand cyberspace’s ability to make us Nearly Real so we can again rely on our ancient and well-proven senses to formulate opinions and assertions of our fellow man.

But that doesn’t happen.
Human relationships hanging on a thread.
Depth is not revered.
But speed is.
Informality drives invention.
Shallowness and incompletion ooze from the pores of the modern amorphous cyberorganism we compose.

And the Hive.

Its face, it’s multitudinous building blocks blurring to one. You, me, him, her, everyone, congregating together, and what better way to work together assembling the Hive than to not fully grasp our neighbor’s essential being?

The Hive thrives on superficiality.
It will never allow us to know each other…in fact, in time it will only serve to allow us to know each other less than we have ever known man before.

The Hive can only work thus.

Insane and bitter ramblings of a sober drunk

I’m drunk as shit but I haven’t had a drop of booze.

I’m slightly belligerent and a tad hostile.
The hostility of a drunk, that’s the messiest and slimiest load of crap to have to deal with.

I went to see an L.A. Kings game back when they still skated at the Forum in Inglewood and a fan for the opposing team (Calgary) went apeshit on me and my friends in the parking lot after the game. He was a big drunken fat white guy with a really swollen red face and as we drove away he pressed that big ugly face into the car window and made the oddest slobbering sound.

Drunken hostility man.

I feel drunk and a bit mean.
Judgmental.
I feel like casting aspersions!
Love that.
Casting aspersions. Now that is something you don’t hear in the ghetto very often.
Hey Homes, stop casting aspersions, ay…

Three things got my goat on the way home tonight as I sat in the relatively empty bus tonight. I must have had a bad day.
In fact, I did. Have a sorta crappy day.
Let’s leave it at that. I’m in a good mood, outwardly…but inside, deep in my heart, there is latent anger, hostility, frustration, irritation; a filmy and filthy floating layer of scum coating the serene water surface of my soul right now. I’m not raging in the typical sense. I don’t punch holes in helpless household decorative scenery nor do I cop a passively hostile attitude to my family on the phone.

But I’m subtly aggravated. I’m glad I don’t grind my teeth at night.

Foodies must die!

I would so fucking hate owning a borderline high-brow downtown restaurant. Having to smile as I watch customers, day in, day out, dig into their meals with snotty refined airs about them would easily drive me to some fork assaults. As they delicately place the food in their mouths while everyone at the table watches in rapt wonder and curiosity, waiting for the person’s reaction so they can decide how they should feel about the food (before they’ve even tasted it, of course). Everything is contingent on this person, this tester, and no one can make up their fucking minds without this external validation. And once they all have a bite of their respective dishes they compare and oooh and ahhh over the choices the others have made and entirely turn the meal into an overblown social foodie orgy. They paid $12 for a meal, Yes, it should be good, yes, it should be somewhat well-prepared. But dudes, it will not blow your socks off. It’s food. Just eat it and don’t worry about the rest of the table.

Where can you rent common sense?

Rent-a-rim businesses. What in the hell. Is there a law written somewhere that these looting businesses must only open their doors in shitty neighborhoods? Oh wait, yes, there is law. It’s called the law of sound economic sense and living within one’s means…which are in abhorrently short supply in any hood. Are rims so important that you must rent them instead of purchasing them? Perhaps the fact you can’t summon the cash to buy a set of 4 round pieces of specially molded aluminum or iron that you can hang your Pep Boys tires on is a sign that something is wrong in your personal financial sector. I can’t even imagine what interest rates these inner city thieves charge their foolhardy customers. Essentially rent-a-rim businesses are financing bling. If you can’t buy bling, shouldn’t you maybe save or earn bling? Own bling? Rent-a-rim is the poser way. I wonder if, in the interest of financing bling, these places also have a special section where you can rent a real gold rope to hang around your thick neck?

I got your Alpha right here

Alpha is bullshit. Seriously, it’s bullshit. I’m so sick of Alpha this, Alpha that. What is Alpha, how can a man be more Alpha, how can he exorcise the Beta or Omega which imprisons his soul and deprives him of all his well-deserved pussy? Alpha is the holy grail, be Alpha and you can be anything. Alpha is loud and boisterous and confident and obnoxious and outspoken and overbearing and he has 22 inch biceps and he must take up as much space as rudely possible! Alpha! Fuck alpha. Hey man, I bet Alphas are really just the quiet and secretly ferocious dudes out there who don’t like to talk and hate crowds. I bet real Alphas don’t give a shit about anybody and they would be happiest if a meteor struck this planet down leaving them to share this globe with only about 300 other wandering nomads. That’s an Alpha you motha. Alphas probably wouldn’t be caught dead in a nightclub or wearing hair product.

The Mostest Crappy Lemonade Ever

Last week I took one of those weird trips to the local Rite Aid. The trip really served no purpose and my objective apparently was to break the monotony of the day by visiting this store and buying some really useless shit.  Such as a bottle of lemonade called “Ruby Kist.”  Ocean Spray was too expensive, what did I have to lose by spending about 1/3 its price for this citrus nightmare?  Let’s just say, there’s a lot to lose…as in my stomach contents.  This Ruby Kist crap, in spite of its bold packaging proclaiming that it is “naturally free of saturated fat and cholesterol” and that it contains “0g trans fat” is some of the most horribly tasting non-lemonade I’ve ever had the displeasure of drinking.  The lemon is so artificial, it reminds me of that really lame lemon filling in Hostess cakes, but in liquid form.  Still, I’m so cheap I will finish that damn bottle if it kills me. Would you like some lemon with that high fructose corn syrup?